American woman killed in Italy suggested she may have had a stalker

The American woman found dead in Italy on Saturday suggested on social media in the weeks leading up to her death that she may have had a stalker.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday after Ashley Olsen’s body was found in her Florence apartment. The 35-year-old, from Summer Haven, Florida, was found with her neck bruised and scratched.

Authorities questioned Olsen's boyfriend, a local artist, on Saturday as part of the murder investigation, but said they have no suspects so far.

Before her death, Olsen, who was living in Florence, posted two pictures on Instagram hinting that someone may have been following her.

picture posted 12 weeks ago, taken from behind Olsen, depicted her walking her beagle, with the caption “I have a #stalker #stalkeralert #creeperintheback #creeperpic”.

Another picture posted nine weeks ago showed Olsen browsing an outdoor market, with the caption “#f--koff #creeper”.

It is not clear who took the photos.

Meanwhile, friends and fellow expats expressed horror at the slaying of a woman known around Florence for her beloved beagle, Scout, and said they hoped her killer would be found quickly. Flowers were left at her doorstep.

"I can't imagine a person who would hurt her. She is a gentle, a kind, a beautiful, friendly, lovely girl and it's an awful shock," Amy, a friend who only gave her first name, told The Associated Press in Florence. "We've got a great community here of people and everyone loved her."

Police vowed "maximum attention" Sunday to find the killer.

"What happened in Florence is getting the maximum attention to find out what it's all about," Italy's police chief, Alessandro Pansa, said during an unrelated visit Sunday to Florence, the ANSA news agency reported.

Other friends said they hoped the case wouldn't end up mirroring the flawed, flip-flopping investigation into the last high-profile murder case of a foreigner living in Italy, that of Meredith Kercher.

The British student was studying in the Umbrian city of Perugia when she was found dead in 2007. Amanda Knox, Kercher's American roommate, and her then-boyfriend were at first convicted of the murder, then acquitted, convicted again on appeal and finally acquitted for good when Italy's supreme court last year definitively exonerated them. Another man was convicted and is serving a 16-year sentence.

"I would hope for her sake that this investigation is more clear," said Georgette Jupe, who writes the "Girl in Florence" blog and knew Olsen casually, primarily because they both had beagles and lived near one another in Florence's Santo Spirito neighborhood.

Jupe said Olsen was involved in fashion and had moved a few years ago to Florence, where her father was also a professor.

Olsen's Facebook page is full of photos of her and Scout, including on the steps of the Santo Spirito church on the piazza of the same name.

"She always with her dog, always sitting on steps of Santo Spirito with friends," Jupe said in a phone interview.

Alexandra Lawrence, a 17-year resident of Florence, said the art-filled city has long drawn creative people like Olsen, who find a ready-made expat community that is far more active and close-knit than ones in Rome or Milan.

"I think maybe because it's such a small city, but because there are so many expats, we all eventually come across each other and run in similar circles," said Lawrence, who teaches art history to American students on study abroad programs and gives tours.

She said she didn't know Olsen personally, but said the first thing she thought of when she heard the news was the Knox saga.

"We've been through this terribly unresolved mystery with Amanda Knox," she said in an interview. "You never want it to get to that point."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.